The Alexander Griggs Award recognizes exceptional personal efforts to preserve Grand Forks’ built and cultural history. It is named for Captain Alexander Griggs, the founding father of the city of Grand Forks. Recipients’ names are added to the permanent plaque that hangs in Council Chambers. The award reads:
“Steve Martens is an architectural historian, architect, author, and educator who has donated literally hundreds of hours to projects that shine a light on Grand Forks’ people and places.
Mr. Martens explored Depression-era Grand Forks, providing valuable research and insights about the Works Progress Administration structures throughout the city. He greatly expanded our knowledge of the role that Jewish immigrants played in the building of Grand Forks, when he explored the story behind the building of B’Nai Israel Synagogue. Steve’s work in the Riverside Neighborhood Historic District has contributed to our knowledge of how middle-income citizens lived their daily lives in the early decades of the 1900s, and his recent documentation of Wells Denbrook Architects explores the growth of our city over six decades.
For his ongoing commitment to the heritage of our buildings and peoples, and for his dedication to sharing that heritage with others, the City of Grand Forks and the Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission are proud to present the Alexander Griggs Award to Steve C. Martens.